Review by Laila_Hashem -- The Spirit of Want

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Review by Laila_Hashem -- The Spirit of Want

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[Following is a volunteer review of "The Spirit of Want" by William H. Coles.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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The Spirit of Want by William H. Coles starts with Luke, an eye surgeon who is just beginning his career, meeting his boss’s adopted, Puerto Rican daughter who is a well-known lawyer. During the gathering, Luke quickly realizes his boss expects him to babysit a drunk Lucy. Even after his pleas, Lucy insists on driving, despite the state she is in, and they end up crashing. After waking up in the hospital, Luke is subpoenaed to speak at a trial for Lucy and learns that a woman was discovered dead in the same area as the crash and.

After Lucy is convicted then pardoned, they quickly become closer and get married, but it becomes apparent that their marriage isn’t perfect as soon as they go on their honeymoon. Lucy is hostile and picks a fight with Luke every chance she gets. When she receives a call about an opportunity to represent an alleged rapist, Reverend Hower Bain, she agrees immediately, despite being almost certain that he is guilty. Luke is horrified by her defending a guilty person and lets her leave without saying a word. Lucy quickly becomes mesmerized by Bain and starts to believe in his innocence, falling in love with him in the process. The book then continues to navigate the trial and other hardships faced by Luke as he and Lucy try to make their marriage work.

There are many things I like about this book. All the scenes are extremely descriptive, for one. I felt as though I was going through the events with the characters, especially during the tense scenes. When Lucy was driving under the influence, for example, I could almost feel the anxiety radiating off Luke, whose overwhelming emotions are described perfectly as he attempts and fails to get Lucy to slow down. I also find that the topics that the book discusses, such as racism, social status and how it affects one’s personal and professional opportunities, and the faults in the justice system, to be very important ones that the author did a fine job of spreading awareness about.

The thing that I love most about the book is the way that the characters are demonstrated. The book successfully presents each character’s personality, intentions, history, and development in such a way that the readers feel they have known the characters their entire life. Even though Lucy was presented as a hostile, stubborn, manipulative liar, I found myself sympathizing with her and truly understanding the motivation behind her actions. Finally, the book has clearly been professionally edited since it has no spelling or grammatical mistakes.

I give this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars because of the aforementioned positive aspects and the fact that there was nothing I disliked about the story. I believe readers from any background, ages 14 and above, would enjoy this book. I believe anyone younger than 14 would have trouble understanding the complicated nature of the personal and business relationships in this book, and, as a result, would fail to understand why the plot develops the way it does. People who prefer to have heroic or likable main characters would also not enjoy this book since Lucy is far from being either.

The Spirit of Want
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